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Ricky Van Shelton

Making Plans – 1997 (RVS)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Ricky Van Shelton

From 1987 to 1992, Ricky Van Shelton went on a great run. Ten number-one singles, six more in the top five. Five platinum albums. CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 1990. Then it suddenly dried up - his best-charting single of the past five years only reached number 20. Instead of retiring to Branson, however, Van Shelton believed strongly enough in his creativity and music to start his own record label, and the results are phenomenal. He's always had one of the richest, most distinctive voices in country music, and he puts it to good use here on ballads like the first single, "She Needs Me," and the poignant realization, "It Wouldn't Kill Me."

Everything about this album, from the songs, including Mel Street's first hit, "Borrowed Angel," to the production, screams classic country, like the best albums of the late Eighties and early Nineties before New Country took over the radio. Support traditional country music and flat-out great singing by buying this album.